Whether you’re relaxed or natural, dry hair seems to be one of the most common (and most frustrating) problems we all run into at some point. On the less severe end, it may cause some roughness, a little frizz here and there, and a few split ends.
But when things get serious, dry hair can lead to crazy amounts of breakage, thinning, and irreversible hair damage. And in some cases, it can result in so many split ends that you have no choice but to cut a significant amount of your hair off.
Yeah, dry hair is an enemy that wears many disguises. However, it sounds like much more of a big deal than it actually is. It’s annoying, sure, but with a little time and effort, it’s 100% fixable.
First things first—what’s actually causing my dry hair in the first place?
It’s very easy to look at a problem and immediately move into finding surface level solutions for it. In this case, it would be throwing some major cash at various moisturizers, hair masks, and the like, hoping that they’ll keep the dryness at bay.
This, however, is a waste of time. I mean, it might work if the problem is being caused by a simple regimen issue like not deep conditioning enough or wearing a protective style too long. But it doesn’t do much for more serious, underlying issues.
A few things to think about:
- Is your scalp in good condition? Healthy hair is not possible without a healthy scalp. Your hair is suffering, so it’s not far fetched to think that your scalp is responsible for it. Check for things like dandruff, psoriasis, and regular ol’ irritation and dryness.
- Am I using an ingredient that my hair doesn’t like? Often times, there’s a common ingredient in one or a few of your products that your hair doesn’t respond well to. Check everything for sulphates, parabens, and mineral oils.
- Am I hydrating enough? Dryness is the absence of moisture! Make sure your hair and body are getting enough water on the regularly. Additionally, make sure you’re using products with water in them and not just butters and oils.
- What about lifestyle changes? For an example, working out more would cause you to sweat more, and sweat dries out hair. You might need to wash more. Or perhaps you’re on a new medication that is dehydrating you. Review new lifestyle elements.
Is it damaged? Damage of all kinds has a tendency to dry you out. Assess the damage and move forward.
Now for the good stuff—how to fix it.
You took a good look at your hair and your regimen, and now you’re clear on what’s causing the dryness. So, what now? Well, you have to take the logical next steps. Here’s what to do for each issue:
If it’s because your scalp is dry and/or irritated:
Start a scalp care regimen. Think about all the things you do to keep your hair healthy—now do it to your scalp. When you wash your hair, pay special attention to your scalp. Massage and moisturize your scalp regularly so your hair has a healthy place to grow.
If you find issues such as psoriasis, dandruff, or irritation with bumps or open wounds, invest in medicated shampoo and opt for low manipulation styles.
If it’s because you’re using ingredients your hair doesn’t like:
This one is easy: simply stop using those products. Now, the hard part is the trial and error that comes with this. You might know that you need to discontinue the use of your current products, but that doesn’t mean you know what to replace them with.
To keep it simple, just choose products that don’t use whatever is making your hair dry. Once this is settled, then you can begin experimenting with other ingredients that your hair might love.
If it’s because you aren’t hydrating enough:
Girl, hydrate! Lay off the oils and butters for a second, and solely focus on making sure your hair is absorbing enough water. Use warm or tepid water when washing your hair, invest in a hydrating shampoo and conditioner, and use moisturizers that are formulated with water.
When you’re ready to seal your hair, choose a lighter oil or butter instead of one that is heavy, greasy, and/or difficult to wash out.
If it’s because you’re hair is damaged:
I know y’all are going to hate to hear this, but you need to cut off any hair that can’t be salvaged. Damaged hair doesn’t do anything but suck the life out of the hair that has a fighting chance.
No nutrients or moisture are even being absorbed into your hair strands—they’re just sitting on top and going to waste when they could be put to good use. So, cut them off and start nurturing the hair that actually deserves it.
Whew! Dry hair is a beast, aint it? But clearly, the best can be tamed. Don’t be intimidated by the journey. Take this advice and your hair will be back moisturized and healthy in no time.